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URBAN POLICY AND ACTION PLAN FOR KERALA

MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS
. Government will formulate specific revised criteria and procedure for
1 Declaring an area as statutory urban local body.
2 ELEVATING LOCAL BODIES TO DIFFERENT URBAN/MUNICIPAL STATUS , AND
3 Effecting jurisdictional changes to existing statutory urban local bodies, considering the peculiar settlement characteristics of the State. The urban areas which have the potential to be developed as major growth centres with prospects in different sectors such as industries, tourism, I.T, trade, commerce etc., shall be identified, planned and developed.
. Ensuring Participation of private sector for development of infrastructure is essential. Government would therefore explore all options such as outsourcing of service, Public-Private Participation. etc. The feasibility of involving co-operatives and N.G.Os will also be explored.
. Government will constitute an Urban Regulatory Authority which will be entrusted with the responsibility to ensure private sector participation in municipal services, avoid creation of monopolies in municipal services, maintain quality of services, make sure that the cost of services to the public is reasonable and will also function as a forum for receiving complaints/ suggestions etc., on all urban services.
. City Regions of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are considered as Spatial Priority Regions for urban Development in the state. Kozhikode is the second priority city and the urban agglomerations of Thrissur, Kannur, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad and Kottayam will be considered as third priority Towns. The remaining statutory towns in Kerala are classified under fourth priority towns depending on their potentialities for development and their economic development capabilities. The Government will ensure preparation and implementation of development packages for all these towns with coordination of all the sectors involved. Projects under statutory town planning schemes shall get priority while preparing such development packages.
. Government will introduce a system of categorizing and prioritizing cities / towns for infrastructure investments in view of their respective roles in economic development. The Government will fix and publish appropriate criteria and their weightage for arriving at priority; so that the local bodies can know how and how far they can come up and go down the priority ladder. Plan funds will be released only on assessment of performance of ULBs in the field of statutory obligations. The annual planning and budgeting system of urban local bodies will be functionally linked with 5 year Development Plans and long range (20.25 years) perspective Plans.
. Interim development plans will be prepared for those towns, which are not covered under development plans. This will facilitate in undertaking urban development projects for more towns under various schemes such as IDSMT .
. The Government propose to bring out a unified legislation on Town and Country Planning with wider provisions for preparation of State Spatial Development Plans, Regional Development Plans, District Development Plans, Urban Development Plans and Special Area Development Plans.
. Government desire to support major town level projects and major innovative urban development projects taken up by ULBs. Government will create Kerala Urban Development Innovation Fund with specific guidelines for selection of projects, usage of funds etc.
. Procurement of land for public purposes can be materialised through urban land consolidation. Possibilities for practices such as allocation of alternate land, issuing of TDR (Transfer of Development Right), urban land reconstitution, creation of Land Banks, popularizing land lease etc., shall be studied and explored.
. The Government shall make required arrangements to build up Urban Land Information System (ULIS) in a phased manner.
. Government reserve the right to designate critical land for its best use. Indiscriminate conversion of low lying urban areas shall be regulated using policies arrived at based on scientific studies. Government have powers to reserve any land required for future widening of road without denying the right of the land owner to enjoy the existing use of the land till land is taken over for road widening.
. Development charges shall be levied on land transaction, new construction, and new commercial ventures that are coming up in any project area after the notification. Development charges can be collected for all projects irrespective of the fact whether the projects are implemented by State, Central, Local Self Governments, Development authorities, PSUs, PSPs or purely private. Development charges shall be limited to ‘user fee’ applicable only to these who avail the benefit of the scheme.
. The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) permissible for an area shall be based on the considerations of the infrastructure availability in the area and will be controlled through zoning regulations.
. Conservation of heritage structures and areas will be given priority. Appropriate schemes, projects and regulations will be materialised for meeting the above objectives. The role of Art and Heritage Commission in Kerala will be strengthened .
. The extent of parks and open spaces in the urban areas of Kerala will be given due importance. Development of amusement parks, recreational walkways etc., will also be given appropriate weightage and encouragement. Conversion of existing recreational open spaces for other uses will be prevented.
. Government shall insist on all developers including public sector agencies to attach Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A.) statements to all applications seeking approval for major development projects. The Government shall issue necessary guidelines in this regard.
. Traffic Improvement and Management Schemes will be prepared for the urban areas and implemented in a time bound manner.
. Urban roads shall be developed in a phased manner. The existing urban roads will be adequately rehabilitated making use of the entire right-of-way, clearing encroachments on the roads, providing end-to-end surfacing with shoulders, footpaths, bus bays and parking lots. Land under the possession of Government and the local bodies will be identified to provide off-street parking places at appropriate locations.
. Prohibition of encroachments on foot paths, bus bays, parking lots and ensuring maintenance of road side drains, streetlights and footpaths along that road stretch abutting the frontage of a particular plot will be the responsibility of that particular plot owner. This can be ensured through the urban local body / NGO’s / Co-operatives / concerned departments etc.
.
Maternity and Child Health Service Centres are to be brought under the technical guidance and supervision of the Department of Health Services. The feasibility for implementation of the national programmes under the Department of Health Services through Urban Local Bodies will be explored.
. The state’s tourism potential still remains to be tapped in full. To attract tourists, better infrastructure including better habitats have to be developed. The Kerala Municipality Building Rules will be further amended to avoid any degree of arbitrariness in giving building permits and making optimum use of land.
. Land Zoning and new land developments will be viewed with regard to urban drainage aspects and the required measures will be strictly enforced. Urban drainage will be considered as part of urban road development planning. Urban Drainage expertise shall be developed in the state and required institutional assistance for urban drainage shall be found. Private sector participation will be explored in this area also.
. Government shall give top priority to keep the cities and towns clean. By the end of 2002 all major towns in the state will establish scientifically designed solid waste management system including improved methods of collection and transportation, recycling etc. without causing environmental pollution. Involvement of residents’ association in urban sanitation projects will be considered favourably where ever feasible.
. The urban local bodies shall be encouraged to constitute statutory committees with public participation including participation of NGOs for implementing and supervising urban sanitation programmes. The Government shall encourage the urban local bodies to explore the possibilities for bringing in private sector participation in certain areas of solid waste management and sanitation programmes.
. Hygienic sanitary latrines for public use will be made compulsory with eateries, hotels, restaurants, petrol pumps, supermarkets, malls public buildings etc. Government will promote setting up of underground sewerage system and liquid waste treatment plants with private sector participation.
. High density areas of Corporations and major Municipalities will be given priority in setting up of under ground sewerage system whereas provision of in site sanitation will be encouraged in low income areas.
. Public Crematoria shall be established in all Urban Local Bodies, according to the felt need of the Public. Modern slaughter houses will be established in all Urban Local Bodies encouraging Private Sector participation.
. The system of maintenance of accounts in urban local bodies is outdated. Government visualise change over of the accounting system as a priority area. . Chartered Accountants shall be appointed in local bodies for handling accounting matters.
. Government will give greater autonomy to Urban Local Bodies in the fixation of taxes, rates, user charges etc removing chances of misuse, arbitrariness etc. The Government will also impress upon the urban local bodies to keep down the gap between revenue and expenditure. Augmentation of Municipal finance through floating of Municipal bonds will be considered.
. Borrowing limit of the local bodies will be linked to their revenue Ceiling limit will be imposed on loans taken by ULBs from LIC, HUDCO, KUDFC etc. . Local bodies will be made more accountable for their debt servicing which would include attaining credit worthiness before borrowing from the market. Government will actively involve in these areas
. The increasing tendency in urban local bodies to divert the earmarked funds to other schemes will be curtailed and required legislations will be brought out to enforce financial discipline among urban local bodies.
. The Government proposes to rationalise property tax structure in a simple way of calculation based on plinth area which will also boost the income of local bodies considerably.
. Government proposes to restructure the entertainment tax system so as to make it easy to assess, easy to collect, difficult to tamper with meanwhile financially beneficial to the local bodies.
. Government will not exercise power for granting exemption from the provisions of the Law, over the head of the urban local bodies in an arbitrary manner.
. Urban Sector restructuring will be used effectively to generate interest among external financial agencies / donor countries to support the bold innovative and effective reform process initiated in the state.
. The thrift under the thrift and credit operations will be raised . Kudumbasree will pursue the matter.
. In addition to the funds received from the centrally sponsored schemes, the urban local bodies will be persuaded to invest in the urban poverty alleviation sector.
. The centrally sponsored scheme for slum development (NSDP) will be implemented with vigorous zeal. Urban Local Bodies will be encouraged to prepare projects for development of infrastructure in the fields of industry, public works and tourism.
. The Kerala Slum Clearance Act, 1981, and the Kerala Development Authority Rules will be reviewed. A Unified Town and Country Planning Bill will be introduced in the Legislative Assembly. Legislation on housing shall be revamped to protect the interest of the investor / owner too. Registration Act, 1908 will be amended to effect the changing land policies such as enforcement of TDR ,implementation of land reconstitution schemes etc. Rent Control Act will be amended to revitalize urban centres. Land Utilization Rules will be reviewed so as to enable urban local bodies to permit development of agricultural areas in a scientific manner. Adequate legislation will be introduced to ensure and promote conservation of heritage buildings , heritage precincts and natural heritage. KMBR 1999 will be amended with due regard to optimal utilization of land, relevant standards and norms, the settlement characteristics of the State, encouragement of construction activity.
. Wide publicity will be given on the legal provision regarding right to information. The Government is committed to introduce Information Technology in various sectors of Urban Local Bodies and will be networked with headquarters at Secretariat and Director’s level. E Governance will be introduced in urban local bodies.
. The present Directorate of Municipal Administration will be converted into Directorate of Urban Affairs inducting professional expertise.
. The Kerala Urban Development Finance Corporation will be restructured and made a financial organization to cater to the needs of the entire local government institutions in the State.
. An institute exclusively for catering to the needs of Urban Sector will be set up. Regular training programmes will be organised for elected representatives and officials to equip them with the latest techniques to deal with urban problems.
. The Vigilance Cell will be strengthened so as to improve enforcement and transparency
. The Government shall make available modern technological facilities and equipment to personnel engaged in Planning and Development. Regular in-service training programs shall be instituted for municipal personnel in planning, urban administration, municipal finance and accounting, urban engineering etc. The Government shall earmark funds in the annual plans of the State for H.R.D. of planning personnel in Government.
Annexure I
LIST OF CORPORATIONS AND MUNICIPALITIES IN KERALA

Sl.No Name Year of constitution as Municipality Year of constitution as Corporation
Corporations

01. Thiruvananthapuram
                     1941

02. Kochi
                     1866, 1912 & 1913                                             1967
[Fort Cochin, Mattancherry & Ernakulam]
03. Kozhikode
                      1866                                                          1962
04. Kollam
                      1903 2000
05. Thrissur
                     1921                                                             2000
Municipalities
01. Neyyattinkara
                     1913
02. Nedumangad
                     1978
03. Attingal
                     1924
04. Varkala
                     1980
05. Paravoor(S)
                     1988
06. Punalur
                     1971
07. Pathanamthitta
                     1978
08. Thiruvalla
                      1920
09. Adoor
                     1990
10. Alappuzha
                     1896
11. Kayamakulam
                      1909
12. Cherthala
                     1952
13. Mavelikkara
                     1941
14. Chenganoor
                     1978
15. Kottayam
                      1923
16. Changanassery
                     1921
17. Vaikkom
                      1919
18. Pala
                     1947
19. Thodupuzha
                     1978
20. Aluva
                     1968
21. Perumbavoor
                     1953
22. North Parur
                     1912
23. Muvattupuzha
                      1958
24. Thrippunithura
                     1978
25. Angamally
                      1978
26. Kothamangalam
                     1978
27. Kalamassery
                     1990
28. Kunnamkulam
                     1948
29. Irinjalakuda
                     1936
30. Chalakkudy
                     1970
31. Kodungallur
                      1977
32. Chavakkad
                     1978
33. Gurvayur
                     1961
34. Palakkad
                     1866
35. Chittoor-Thathamangalam
                      1947
36. Shoranur
                      1978
37. Ottappalam
                     1990
38. Malappuram
                      1970
39. Thirur
                     1971
40. Manjeri
                     1978
41. Ponnani
                     1977
42. Perinthalamanna
                      1990
43. Koyilandi
                     1993
44. Kalpetta
                     1990
45. Kannur
                     1867
46. Thalassery
                     1866
47. Mattannur
                      1990
48. Vadakara
                     1958
49. Payyannur
                     1990
50. Kuthuparamba
                      1990
51. Thaliparamba
                     1990
52. Kasaragod
                     1966
53. Kanhangad
                     1984


ANNEXURE IILIST OF DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITIES IN KERALA
1. Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority
2. Kollam Development Authority
3. Idukki Development Authority
4. Greater Cochin Development Authority
5. Trichur Urban Development Authority
6. Kozhikode Development Authority

 




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